Dropping a Nap - The Aftermath

When a nap is dropped, a baby may need to go to sleep earlier at night for a while or another nap may need to be moved earlier and may last longer. It kind of depends on how ready your child is to have the nap dropped. If they are really ready to have their daily sleep requirements dropped a bit then they may not
make up for that dropped nap much at all. Most likely, though, your child will at least need a slightly earlier bedtime for a while after they drop a nap.

It is normal for a period of crankiness to exist right after a child drops a nap but this usually goes away in a matter of days or at most a couple weeks. If it lasts longer or keeps getting worse, your child may not have been ready to drop that nap. A quiet time may be useful during these cranky times after a nap is dropped.

Related Posts:
Dropping a Nap - When and How to do it
Dropping A Nap - The Facts


  1. Hi Rachel,
    Firstly, thank you so much for your advice in advance!! You have been really helpful with our ongoing sleep issues in the past. If you remember,
    My 9.5 month old girl dropped her 3rd nap just as she turned 9 months. Actually, we started stretching her awake time from 2-2.5 hours to 3 hours before first nap, 3.5 before second and 4+ before bedtime. Her 30-45 minute naps stretched out to about an hour and fifteen minutes when we did that, which was great. She now goes down easy, usually tear-free, for naps, sleeps about an hour and fifteen minutes and wakes content. However, we are starting to notice that she is getting more and more clingy, and fussy as the days go on in the late afternoon/evening, and she has started crying lots in the hour or two before bed. She does usually sleep through the night, but she wakes very early (between 5-5:45 usually). So we try to keep a bedtime around 6:00-6:30.  So, does our baby sound like she is becoming more and more overtired? Are her awake times too long (any shorter through and her awake time before bed would be too long, or she would have to go to sleep SUPER early). Any suggestions to help with our evening crabbiness, crying before bed, and early waking?
    Here is a sample day:
    5:30 – wake
    6:00 – nurse
    7:00 breakfast
    8:30 – 9:45 – nap
    10:00 – nurse
    11:30/12 – lunch
    1:00 – 2:15 – nap
    2:30 - nurse
    6:00-6:30 - bed

    I would appreciate any suggestions! I am starting to dread 4 pm every day!

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  3. Yaliberms,
    Sorry it took me a while to reply to this. Things have been busy. It does sound like she might be overtired. Maybe try reducing the wake times in 5-15 minute intervals to see if it helps. I would keep track of things on a sleep log so you can tell when you get to that 'sweet spot' where there is the perfect amount of wake time.

    That is an early time to wake too! I wonder if you overtiredness is linked to that. Make sure to rule out other stuff (like the sun). I doubt she is getting too much daily sleep. While an early bedtime helps soo many kids, it can cause early wake ups so I wonder if that is the issue (not that you have a choice, keeping her up later would add to things- I wonder if her waketimes were shortened a bit if she would do a mini 20 minute nap in the evening?). An even earlier bedtime might actually help her wake up later though. Weird but true. You will have to test to see what happens. And try to do enjoyable, relaxing things, like a walk, in the evening to help you with crankiness.